May 18, 2011

-- My TRB column, on the heartbreaking plight of the moderately rich. -- Steve Kornacki: Gingrich's rehabilitation was always a myth. -- The stealth revolution in open learning. -- Mark Bittman visits Detroit.

More Car Talk for the Campaign
May 18, 2011

Unemployment in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois is falling more quickly than in the rest of the country. The Big Three are hiring again. Does one development have anything to do with the other? Does it mean President Obama can brag about the auto industry rescue package?

What if Obama Gave His Immigration Speech in Michigan?
May 11, 2011

President Obama renewed a call for serious discussion about reforming the nation’s immigration laws in his speech yesterday in El Paso. He enlisted the American public to actively join the push to get Congress to move past the stalled debate and into action. One of the hurdles comprehensive reform faces is the varying impacts of immigration across the nation.

Challenging the Census to Count the Uncounted
May 05, 2011

Now that Census 2010 results are coming out, some places around the country are scratching their heads. They are puzzled by the lower-than-expected population counts and considering mounting challenges to get the official number changed. The state of California thinks the census missed 1.5 million residents.

Cities Struggle with Not So Pretty Vacancy
May 03, 2011

Have you ever wondered why someone doesn’t just do something about that big weedy lot on the edge of downtown, or the house up the street that’s been boarded up for years? You might ask your state legislator--though they probably won’t have a good answer.  All over the country, cities grapple with vacant and abandoned land and buildings. The issue is particularly problematic in places--think Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo--that have lost a large portion of their residents and jobs over the decades, but it’s also a growing challenge in parts of the South and West, where the bursting of the rea

A Victory for Democratic Foreign Policy
May 03, 2011

Dobson argues that Bin Laden's death was a victory for Democratic foreign policymakers and helped cement Obama's place in history.

Pumped Up
April 28, 2011

Oil is up around $110 per barrel; the price of gas at the pump is approaching $4 per gallon. It’s clear the White House is nervous about this: Barack Obama has started mentioning gas prices everywhere he goes. There are two big questions here: Are rising gas prices going to sink Obama’s presidency? And, either way, is there anything that can actually be done about them? High gas prices are unquestionably a pain for many Americans.

Spring Trap

The public uprisings spreading like wildfire from Tunisia to the Persian Gulf have been referred to collectively as the “Arab Spring.” But in fact, as the Obama administration crafts its policy responses, it should strive to avoid this unifying narrative, lest it obscure the unique challenges faced by each country, as well as the distinctive ramifications that each uprising has for U.S. interests.

Urban Shrink Rap: Dealing with Decline
March 29, 2011

In the wake of the release of the 2010 Census data, how to address shrinking cities, like the stunning Detroit decline, is again a topic for debate. As my colleague Jennifer Bradley points out in a New York Times “Room for Debate” post, unbuilding cities is expensive. She argues that, considering the extent to which the federal government subsidized development, cities should be allocated funds for unbuilding, or at least be allowed to repurpose extent funding for demolition and the like. Another case where one-size-fits-all federal policy fails.

The Existence Of Crime Is Not A Racist Myth
March 28, 2011

Thomas Sugrue, writing in the New York Times op-ed page, calls the fear of crime cited by white Detroiters a pretext for racism: Those who left the city cited various reasons: desire for a little green space, new housing, better schools, freedom from crime.